An Atlanta area automotive parts manufacturer had problems with unsafe conditions in their robotic manufacturing area due to welding fumes. Dust and fume residue collecting on the walls and floor created a dirty environment. The air was also compromised by weld fume haze, causing further health and safety risks.
The customer had three robotic weld cells installed, which were the source of most of the smoke. They had been installed with dust collectors that were not adequate for the application, so they were not handling enough air volume in the space to extract the fume. This led to the weld fume polluting the escaping into the facility through the weld positioners. The customer had similar issues with their metal brazing cell.
In the metal brazing process, two or more pieces of metal are joined together by melting or flowing a filler metal into a joint. Brazing differs from welding in that the metal items being joined are not actually being melted. In this particular situation, a larger than normal concentration of weld fume was being generated, so it needed to be filtered from the facility.
Imperial Systems, working with a factory representative, spent time with the customer and the machine operators to determine their goals and evaluate their problems. They initially determined the size of the enclosed robot area and the anticipated fume load. They then calculated the amount of air needed to adequately ventilate the robot cell to reduce escaping fume. The layout of the building was also evaluated in order to determine the optimal location for the dust and fume collector installation.
This information enabled the team to engineer a comprehensive solution to manage the robotic weld fume. Shadow SH06 Compact Fume Extractors were installed on the welding and brazing applications. Three of the Shadow units were installed on fully enclosed robotic welding cells. The fourth Shadow was installed on an enclosed robotic metal brazing cell.
The complete air filtration system was installed in early November 2020. The customer reports that everyone is very happy with the results and are amazed by how clean the air in the facility is following the installation. The customer also plans to have Imperial Systems return to install another Shadow Compact Fume Extractor on a new welding robot.